Our new workaday routine starts with a loud alarm at 6:30 a.m. and a large cat on my chest soon thereafter. Once she's sufficiently goaded and meowed me awake, Dave and I roll, slump and pour onto the unforgiving hardwood and pad our way toward our first cup of coffee. Two shakes of splenda and a splash of cream dives into my solemn pool of fresh-roasted Sumatra. I run my fingers through my tangled mop and with half-closed eyes we head towards the lavatory.
"You ready?" Dave posits, with a wry half-smile. I flip him the bird. Of course I'm not ready. I haven't a coat, nor lunch, nor patience. I scrambled into the Jeep, clad in heels and a dress whilst trying my damndest to avoid a telling run in my stockings.
But it's still a great morning, because I get a sendoff at the train station from Dave. "Have a great day, I love you!" he says through the window, followed by a blown kiss. I tell him to get out of here, knowing that he's already late, but still glad that he's there. A sip of Sumatra, then I trounce down the escalator as the southbound train enters the station. We embark toward downtown.
Caught up in thought and cloistered on the crowded Cedars station terminating train, it was a rare day that I opted to people-watch instead of read or knit. Sitting on a side-faceing bench, hunched over a paperback novel was an at-home-dyed strawberry blonde looking towards the chasm of 50. Every few minutes her shriveled, leathery mitts would haphazardly aim at her mouth and she'd proceed to gnaw her fingernails until she was satisfied with their length. After her lips had curled back down to shroud her smoke-stained teeth, she'd pick the remnants of her fingernails from the tip of her tongue, turn the page in her paperback and repeat.
Directly in front of me there were two black girls, one wrapped in an oversized jacket and the other cradling a half-used roll of bathroom tissue. They talked over each other for five mintues and then one of the girls railed a disgusting, mucus-filled, phlegmy cough. The train doors opened and she rushed towards them. She leaned her head back and then thrust her body forward while gripping both poles at the stairs leading up from the platform and onto the train. As she heaved out of her mouth came a white glob of mucus, which shot across the platform and stuck to the wall.
She then sat down and blew her nose. And then again, she blew her nose. And once more, she blew her nose. Each time she would discard the wadded bathroom tissue on the floor of the train car without a care as to what poor person would have to pick up after her. Once she was satisfied with the amount of snot that had exited her sinuses, she pulled out her lip gloss and a pencil and then picked out pieces of loose tobacco from the cigarette packs she stowed in her bag from her pot of gloss. After picking out the tobacco, she smeared the caked glob onto the carpeted seat next to her, closed her bag and exited the train.
But at least I got a good sendoff at the station, right?